Population introduction for Kosteletzkya pentacarpos, threatened plant of Corsica

18 January 2018

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The five-fruited hibiscus, Kosteletzkya pentacarpos (L.) Ledeb., is a discontinuous taxon. It is found in the west of the Mediterranean basin (Spain, Balearic Islands, Corsica and Italy); then in Russia at the Caspian Sea and in Asia Minor. It is absent from the French mainland. In Corsica, there are 4 populations, all located on the eastern coast of the island: Biguglia, Pinia, Gradugine, Palo.

The species colonizes the weakly halophilous reedbeds and the helophyte fringes bordering the more or less brackish ponds. It does not tolerate competition from other plants and mainly appears in open areas (burnt areas, landscape openings, etc). Its numbers are decreasing in 2 of the 4 currently known populations and two stations have now disappeared (Caprone, Sant' Amanza). For these reasons, ibiscus with five fruits is classified in EN "Endangered" on the Regional Red List of the Corsican flora (2015 assessment).

At the Pinia site (commune of Ghisonaccia), the species has almost disappeared, only a few individuals are currently present whereas in the past 5 subpopulations could be observed. A reinforcement of population was thus realized, on November 30 and December 7, 2017 on 4 experimental plots. The operation was carried out by the agents of the National Botanical Conservatory of Corsica and those of the Department of Haute-Corse (manager) and the Conservatoire du Littoral (owner).100 plants in 10 cm pots and 123 rooted cuttings were introduced on the site. Regular monitoring of the operation has been scheduled.

The five-fruited hibiscus, Kosteletzkya pentacarpos (L.) Ledeb., and the banks of the Urbinu pond (Pinia site)

Plants in 10-cm pots and rooted cuttings





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MAVA Foundation

Mediterranean Plant Specialist Group (IUCN/SSC) Sóller Botanical Garden Foundation, Balearic Islands Office of the Environment of Corsica - National Botanical Academy of Corsica Hortus Botanicus Karalitanus, Sardinia University of Catania, Sicily Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete Agricultural Research Institute, Cyprus Department of Forests, Cyprus